Greater Mekong countries pledge to accelerate malaria elimination efforts

Member countries comprising Greater Mekong subregion - Cambodia, China, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam – adopted a call for action on 8 December 2017, to accelerated action to eliminate malaria by the year 2030.

The call comes amid concern over resistance of malaria parasites to antimalarial drugs, including artemisinin—the core compound of the best available antimalarial medicines. To date, resistance has been detected in five of the six GMS countries. The best way to address the threat posed by drug resistance is to eliminate malaria altogether from the countries of the Mekong.

South-East Asia Region accelerating efforts to eliminate malaria

Malaria elimination in the South-East Asia Region
WHO SEARO / Marie de Lutz
Led by Maldives and Sri Lanka, countries in WHO South-East Asia Region promise to carry the baton of malaria elimination

2 June 2017 – Health ministers from the South-East Asia Region and development partners gathered last week in Geneva to celebrate the achievement of malaria elimination in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. The event, co-hosted by the two countries alongside the 70th World Health Assembly, provided a platform to share best practices, strategies and lessons learned, with a view to accelerating progress across the Region.

While important gains in malaria control have been reported in many countries, more work is needed to eliminate the disease region-wide. Speaking at the event on 22 May, Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia, said: “This is a public health problem that WHO South-East Asia faces that just cannot be ignored. More than 230 million people in the Region are still at high risk of malaria – close to a quarter of the world’s high-risk population.”

World Malaria Report

Illustration for the World Malaria Report 2017

December 2017 – The World Malaria Report 2017 provides a comprehensive overview of progress in the fight against malaria. It includes an up-to-date assessment of malaria-related policies in endemic countries, as well as the latest WHO recommendations on malaria prevention and control. It looks at the impact of malaria interventions on the disease burden, tracks progress towards global targets and elimination, and reviews financial resource commitments and financial gaps. The report is based on information received from national malaria control programmes and other partners in endemic countries.

WHO certifies Sri Lanka malaria-free

Colombo, 5 September 2016 – Sri Lanka’s achievement is truly remarkable. In the mid-20th century it was among the most malaria-affected countries, but now it is malaria-free.
Sri Lanka’s road to elimination was tough, and demanded well-calibrated, responsive policies. After malaria cases soared in the 1970s and 80s, in the 1990s the country’s anti-malaria campaign adjusted its strategy to intensively target the parasite in addition to targeting the mosquito.


fact buffet

Population at risk (2015)

1.4 billionPeople in the SEA Region at risk of malaria

World Malaria Report 2016

Confirmed malaria cases (2015)

1.5 millionConfirmed cases of malaria in SEA Region


Reported malaria deaths (2015)

620Reported malaria deaths in SEA Region